|Swim Meets are Crazy
Attending your child's swim meets are a fun and exciting way to see how all their hard work and training from practice is paying off. Swim meets can be both fun and rewarding but can also be overwhelming.
What to Bring
1. OHYA cap, goggles, and OHYA team suit. Having extras is always a great idea! Goggles will break, and caps might rip.
2. Towels – swimmers will be in and out of the water many times, so it’s a good idea to pack at least two.
3. Something comfy to sit on: camping chairs, sleeping bags are great.
4. Kids needs to stay warm between events so please bring warm apparel.
5. Entertainment for the whole family: portable DVD players, cards, games, Lego’s, video games, books, or newspapers. Especially important if you have youngsters with you that will not be swimming.
6. Small Cooler of Healthy Snacks: Water, Gatorade, Yogurt, Cliff Bars, Bagels, fruit, trail mix, PB&J.
7. Sharpie marker, pen and highlighter
Before the Meets Starts
1. Arrive 15 minutes before warm ups: warm up times are listed in the meet information on the website.
2. Find the Team Area: this is where you and the team will hang out for the day. It is usually in a gym, hallway area of the school, or in the pool area.
3. Help your swimmer find their coach: look on the pool deck or in the team area and have your swimmer check in with his/her coach.
4. Find a Heat Sheet to Purchase or share with a parent: Heat Sheets normally cost between 2 and 10 dollars. The heat sheet lists all the swimmers in each event in order of seed time. Some swimmers will have NT by their name, this just means “no time” so they will be seeded accordingly. Find your swimmer's name and use your highlighter to highlight their name and events.
5. Write on your swimmer with a black sharpie: I know it sounds weird but this is
how the kids remember their events, to know what events to listen for and help
them get to the correct lane.
6. Swimmers Report to coach for Warm Ups: it is very important that swimmers
warm up with the team. A swimmers body needs to be warmed up before going all out at race speed.
7. Swimmers return to team area after warm up: however at some meets Relays will begin immediately after warm up so a coach will keep those swimmers that are in relays.
8. Meet will usually start shortly after warm up depending on our team’s warm up
Take Your Mark.....
1. Listen for event announcements: announcements are made over a load speaker telling swimmers to report to the blocks or for 8 & under swimmers, the Clerk of Course. The announcer usually calls each event three times, 1st call, 2nd call, and 3rd call, For example: “1st call for event 25, Boys 9&10 50 Freestyle.” Don't wait for 3rd call...you risk missing your event!!
2. Report to Blocks or Clerk of Course: have your swimmer check in with the lane
timers to ensure they are in the correct lane. Lane timers will often do this, however it is best to have the swimmer check in.
3. Parents: Find a seat in the designated spectator seating. According to USA
swimming rules, parents are not allowed on deck unless they are an official.
Parents must sit in the spectator seating area which is usually the bleachers or
the side of the pool.
4. Race Time: Take Your Mark...Go!!! Time to see how all that hard work is paying off.
5. Swimmers should report directly to your coach after your race: at this time the coach will give praises and suggestions to improve upon.
6. Swimmers check in with parents: parents MUST follow these guideline: Give your swimmer a hug and a high five and tell them how proud you are! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You just need to tell your swimmer how proud you are of their effort.
7. Repeat steps above until all events are completed.
8. Final Check with coaches: please have swimmers check in with their coach before heading home to make sure they are not needed for anything else.
***Don't hesitate to ask for help! Everyone know what’s its like at those first couple of swim meets and are more than willing to help. Once you've been through it a couple of times it will be routine and very enjoyable!!*******
Common Concerns during Swim Meets:
What if my child Gets DQ'd (disqualified)?
Being disqualified (DQ'd) is a learning experience to improve your swimmers stroke. We want those bad habits to be resolved early on! Your swimmer will get a "DQ" this season, I almost guarantee it. They will forget to touch the end of the pool with two hands, they will swim the wrong stroke in the excitement, or leave the blocks early, they will let that right foot turn in on breaststroke.....whatever it is, a DQ is to help themimprove! So.....if your child gets a "DQ", the official may/or may not have time to talk to your child directly. They will fill out a DQ slip and send that to the coach. The coaching staff will then be able to tell your child what they did wrong. The officials usually don't have time to discuss too much with the swimmer and will not explain to parent.
What if my child misses their event?
The coaches will get the swimmer to the official who will try to help them get into
another heat. Older swimmers can go over to the official on their own and inform the official that they missed their event. There are times when there is nothing
anyone can do. So it is important that swimmer's are paying attention and get to the block early so they do not risk missing an event.
I am concerned about the events that my child's coach entered him/her in. Is my child really ready for that event?
Swimmers are entered in events that their coach feels will be appropriate for them to swim. These events will not always be their favorite or best strokes and swimmers will struggle at times. Struggling and being challenged are all part of the learning experience. There needs to be a proper balance of challenging and fun so that swimmers can become well rounded in the sport. It is important that parents support the coaches decisions and trust that the coach knows what is best for each swimmer. Often times the parent is more nervous than the child.
Be positive around your child and keep concerns or negativity something you share with your child’s coach in private, not with your child.
What are Reasonable Expectations for my swimmer?
All you need to expect from your swimmer is that they do their best, have a good
attitude and listen to their coach. Leave the coaching to the coaches. Relax and help your swimmer to do the same and have fun. There are a lot of things affecting the kids performance at any age/level.
What about times and time drops?
Do not emphasize so much on times or time drops. Kids have so much to learn at this point and level. Coaches will often times focus on progress goals (flip turns or holding streamline longer) instead of times. For example: When kids are first learning flip turns they tend to slow down.
Older swimmers and more advanced swimmers will have more difficulty dropping time. Instead of seeing a time drop every meet, you may only see a time drop at the end of the season. The time drops will go from dropping seconds to only dropping tenths or hundreds of a second.